The Belgian version has been clinically tested and has been declared legally viable. The British government has chosen this version because it is EU sanctioned and is designed to keep the Russian and China version of the vaccine out of the West. The EU has thrown a lot of money into the Belgian version and it has been developed very quickly. The problem with this is the lack of time spent checking side-effects (primary and secondary). To get the vaccine into mass production so that the West does not have to use the Russian or Chinese version – this corner has been cut. Although the science behind vaccination is clear and effective – a minority of people who have been given the Belgian vaccine in the UK (and US) have suffered severe side-effects and have been hospitalised in ICU.
From what I have seen, no one has died from the side-effects as of yet. I am also aware that a number of Black and Asian people are of the opinion that the vaccine has been designed and tested only for use on Europeans – and are refusing to take it – afraid of the untested and verified side-effects. As taking it is not yet mandatory, I am taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. I can do this because I have been following a strict self-isolation since March due to Gee working on the NHS frontline. As the British government has not handled this emergency properly, the numbers of infected are now rocketing in the UK, and the UK has one of the highest death-tolls in the world.
My preference is for the Oxford vaccine which I have observed being carefully developed every step of the way from day one. It is safe and viable. The British government should have gone with this and not an EU version that we cannot observe being developed. My British (friend living in Romania) has opted for the equally good Russian version. Vaccines work and the science is correct – but there are other considerations to be taken into account. I am sure all these doubts and concerns will pass. Masks and vaccines work – so we should use them for our own self-defence and the defence of others. Obviously, if the Belgian vaccine becomes mandatory – and I haven’t already acquired the Oxford version – then I will take it without hesitation. We must all pull together on this one!